PDFs of modules and magazines...
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Post Posted: Mon Jun 25, 2007 4:08 pm 
 

Sea-to-sky-games wrote:
I don't know about the statistics in this hobby or in others (like baseball cards), but at first blush, reprints will hurt the value of authentic copies which will probably make a few people here unhappy. 1) these things are so easy to forge that a duplicate copy will have much of the same aesthetics as the original, except it might be in even better condition. 2) proliferation of unauthentic copies, which some might pass off as authentic, could depress values due to buyers facing greater risk of getting screwed.


As an investment, I would say collectible gaming items are shaky anyway. And there has never been any guarantee that items sold in the past were authentic or not, nor will there be in the future. Buyer beware. Perhaps a readily identifiable and difficult to copy item like an orange B3 will be worth more in the future than an easily copied POTVQ.

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Post Posted: Mon Jun 25, 2007 4:11 pm 
 

red_bus wrote:With mags and lower value or difficult-to-forge collectibles this would not be a problem.  For example the White Dwarf and Dragon Mag archives co-exist alongside stable(ish) collector values for these (at least now).  But for easily forged items this would be a disaster.  Example: Jade Hare - which cougarrinard already sells as a photocopy.  Imagine the bagged Tamo/Tsojconth as a easily print-able and widely distributed copy...


This circumstance has always existed.  Unfortunately the proliferance of printing advances has made the possiblity of frauds more commonplace (hell, there are guys now running copies of $20s with high end printing equipment that look exactly like the originals). Personally, I'd always be wary of the very minty looking Tsojoncth or Lost Tamo that turns up.

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Post Posted: Mon Jun 25, 2007 4:24 pm 
 

Badmike wrote:That being said, whether or not reprints will hurt the originals remains to be seen.  The example of Comic books is given, where all the dozens and dozens of reprints has never affected the resale price of true rares.  For every example of a D&D item reprint hurting the original's price, I could give you another one where the price rose.  Dragon#1 is a good example, as well as ALL the early Dragon mags...I'm also thinking of Judge's Guild items, which have been or are being reprinted in d20 form, having no effect on the resale of original Dark Towers or Caverns of Thracia.


The thing is Mike you are comparing apples and oranges when you are comparing D20 updates of past products and to actual copies or pdfs of products that were produced with no alteration, there is no comparision at all.  I disagree with the Dragons assesment as with the exception of the first 30 Dragon magazines, Dragon Magazines took a HUGE hit when the DMA came out.  Even the first 30 took a hit in value, just not as great as the later issues.

Badmike wrote:I find most people that protest these reprints already have a copy....and either don't want anyone else to have a copy (some people's self worth is very tied up in the items they own), or are afraid the $1000+ they paid for the item is now in the toilet.  Collectible investing is never a given, and most TRUE collectors want the ORIGINAL item, not a later reprint.  IMO, the reprints should not hurt the original values of the collectibles...and if, say, the price for an original POTVQ drops to $100 because of this, I WILL be in the market for multiple copies.


For one I don't own a 1st PotVQ, I own a 5th print(that I happened to pick of for the princely sum of $25) so this is absolutely no threat to me no matter how it turns out and yet I still think that there would be better ways to handle this.  

Aside from that though, I find it hard to take that you are not only categorizing and criticizing people who want to protect their own investment as being bad and then turn around in the same sentence say that if the market drops out on them and they start selling for $100 each you'll be in the market for multiple copies of them. Its a bit hypocritical to say the least and I got to be honest Mike, it seems like you are viewing this more from a perspective of someone who would have something to gain by this, no matter how it turns out.

Badmike wrote:But then again, no one will know until it happens. I do know there are alot of D&D collectors and fans that realisticaly have no expectations of ever owning a Wee Warriors item, and if this scheme can get it into the hands of one of those folk, I think the interest in the hobby it can inspire offsets the possible loss of collectible value in the originals.


To be honest neither the PotVQ nor the DG are actually even that great  from a product standpoint.  I really like the back story to PotVQ, but the the rest of the module as well as all DG are kinda sh*t adventures.  The both make bare bones modules like Tegal Manor look verbose.  I think time would be better spend adding on to and fleshing out what has been "started", because effectively thats all PotVQ and DG are, starts. To be honest thats going to be a lot of effort, but to me it would be time much better spent doing that, than just scanning these modules and selling them for $5 each or even giving them away for free.

Badmike wrote: I may be an abberation, but I typically purchase/aquire pdfs of products I already have, and if I come across a pdf of something I don't have, if it's well written it causes me to seek out the original print verson.  I think the release of Wee Warriors items on pdf could cause the price to rise even higher because of this effect.


I disagee based on my above notes about the originals being sh*t adventures as well as other factors.

Badmike wrote:People are also forgetting that the issue of producing a pdf of POTVQ and worrying if someone is going to print out fakes is a moot point.  There are AlREADY lots of these originals out there, and if anyone wants to print out a fake copy, it would take very little time or expense (the folder would be the toughest part but actually a good print shop could have these made up with no problem).


I am not sure making it all easier if there isn't already large scale proliferation of these items is the way to go, I mean people commit crimes everyday. It doesn't mean that we as a society throw out the laws on the basis that, "Well people are going to break the laws anyway, why try?"  :?


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Last edited by bclarkie on Mon Jun 25, 2007 4:35 pm, edited 5 times in total.
  

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Post Posted: Mon Jun 25, 2007 4:26 pm 
 

deimos3428 wrote:Perhaps the PDFs could include some protection against confusing them with the original, Shady?  Could you include an easily identifiable mark which would indicate it's the PDF?  Surely that wouldn't be difficult to do in a non-digital way to a "master" prior to the scan, so it's included in a non-removable fashion.  


Yes, this is a great idea. I was leaning toward a more digital approach, but a physical clear overlay with a light stencil to represent a watermark of sorts would be harder to remove for sure.

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Post Posted: Mon Jun 25, 2007 4:33 pm 
 

It should also be pointed out that Mr Schenk also might have a legitimate legal say so in this debate, as he was part of the Wee Warriors at this time and I can't imagine that he gave up the rights to his artwork and cartography included within these modules when they were produced....


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Post Posted: Mon Jun 25, 2007 4:45 pm 
 

bclarkie wrote:It should also be pointed out that Mr Schenk also might have a legitimate legal say so in this debate, as he was part of the Wee Warriors at this time and I can't imagine that he gave up the rights to his artwork and cartography included within these modules when they were produced....


Thus my waiting to hear more info from Peter.

In my conversation with Peter, he made it sound like there would be no problem in distributing the contents in PDF or for that matter, reprinting the module and selling it... as though he really didn't care....

My concern is, Peter is not the only contributor to the module as well as, where does Wee Warriors fit in even though they are not around. I want the "ok" from not just Peter, but others that might have some interest in this.

Now Peter did create the module without the art work.. so fleshing out an updated version and having someone create new art may not concern anyone else but Peter (I guess I need to include Judy as well).... so I hope to have more concrete information other than Peter's "phone blessing". Even then I want something on paper to "cover" my butt should someone ever state that I should have asked first :)

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Post Posted: Mon Jun 25, 2007 5:37 pm 
 

 Badmike wrote:
 That being said, whether or not reprints will hurt the originals remains to be seen.  The example of Comic books is given, where all the dozens and dozens of reprints has never affected the resale price of true rares.  For every example of a D&D item reprint hurting the original's price, I could give you another one where the price rose.  Dragon#1 is a good example, as well as ALL the early Dragon mags...I'm also thinking of Judge's Guild items, which have been or are being reprinted in d20 form, having no effect on the resale of original Dark Towers or Caverns of Thracia.  


The thing is Mike you are comparing apples and oranges when you are comparing D20 updates of past products and to actual copies or pdfs of products that were produced with no alteration, there is no comparision at all.  I disagree with the Dragons assesment as with the exception of the first 30 Dragon magazines, Dragon Magazines took a HUGE hit when the DMA came out.  Even the first 30 took a hit in value, just not as great as the later issues.


I will still say this falls under the "Remains to be seen".  I simply cannot see the value of a POTVQ dropping, say, half if a pdf comes out.
  The value of the Dragon mags did drop briefly...as not so savvy collectors used the occasion to dump their early issues.  Which is why my below comment of "I'll buy all the POTVQ you want to sell for $100" came from.  Sure some less than savvy collectors might dump their copies....but in the long run, it's the orignal items that retain the worth.  Look at the price of Dragon 1-10 now...and that's with just as many DMAs out as there ever was before.  

Badmike wrote:
 I find most people that protest these reprints already have a copy....and either don't want anyone else to have a copy (some people's self worth is very tied up in the items they own), or are afraid the $1000+ they paid for the item is now in the toilet.  Collectible investing is never a given, and most TRUE collectors want the ORIGINAL item, not a later reprint.  IMO, the reprints should not hurt the original values of the collectibles...and if, say, the price for an original POTVQ drops to $100 because of this, I WILL be in the market for multiple copies.


For one I don't own a 1st PotVQ, I own a 5th print(that I happened to pick of for the princely sum of $25) so this is absolutely no threat to me no matter how it turns out and yet I still think that there would be better ways to handle this.  

Aside from that though, I find it hard to take that you are not only categorizing and criticizing people who want to protect their own investment as being bad and then turn around in the same sentence say that if the market drops out on them and they start selling for $100 each you'll be in the market for multiple copies of them. Its a bit hypocritical to say the least and I got to be honest Mike, it seems like you are viewing this more from a perspective of someone who would have something to gain by this, no matter how it turns out
.

I would be in the market for multiple copies of the item if the worth dropped because I would be putting my money where my mouth is...it's my theory the reprint would have little effect on originals, so I would be willing to buy as many as I could because IMO inevitably the value would rise again on the originals.
 I'm not really criticizing people who are worried about an investment, but truely, how many of these are there out there?  Collectors who are only buying items for the investment potential?  If they are, I would say in any case, from the stock market, to coin collecting, to baseball cards, to comics, to mutual funds, you are never guaranteed your investment will increase.  I've been saying this type of thing would happen for years, so because I chose NOT to invest in, say, ST1s, does that make me a genius?  Everyone out there who buys used RPGs had evidence to the same sort of projections I forsaw.  Investing in easily copied collectibles seems a bit of a shaky foundation, IMO.  Plus you should never pay enormous sums for items you don't personally want to keep no matter the circumstances...
 I can't see a circumstance where I would benefit personally. I don't own a POTVQ myself, and I don't see myself making any money off this sort of a project (saying I personally did hold all the Wee Warriors rights myself, how much could I sell a pdf for? $10?  How many copies?  Not many?). However, I have always been very supportive of any effort to get obscure gaming items out in a more public forum.  It would be nice if classic, and well written, gaming items like The Companions and Midkemia lines had greater exposure.  It's unfortunate that the crappiest ass 3.5 D&D monstrosity has better distribution and recognition than, say , Starstones.    I blame a lot of us in the hobby for this..unfortunately, the hoarding mentality among collectors is often stronger than the urge to "spread the word" and let others know the richness of the supplements that were released 20+ years ago.  There is a lot of "I've got mine and you can screw off" in this hobby.
    It seems that view is very short sighted, anyway. Why would anyone ever want to reprint stuff like Dark Tower, Caverns of Thracia, World of Kahlibruhn, Castle Zagyg, etc, if not for profit? Altruistic verntures, while fine, don't put food on the table.  It's the very old and tired attack of "You shouldn't be making money off sports/games/writing books, you should be doing it out of the goodness of your heart". Of course, those that make that claim, would NEVER suggest that in their own professions.... :roll:

 
Badmike wrote:
 But then again, no one will know until it happens. I do know there are alot of D&D collectors and fans that realisticaly have no expectations of ever owning a Wee Warriors item, and if this scheme can get it into the hands of one of those folk, I think the interest in the hobby it can inspire offsets the possible loss of collectible value in the originals.


To be honest neither the PotVQ nor the DG are actually even that great  from a product standpoint.  I really like the back story to PotVQ, but the the rest of the module as well as all DG are kinda sh*t adventures.  The both make bare bones modules like Tegal Manor look verbose.  I think time would be better spend adding on to and fleshing out what has been "started", because effectively thats all PotVQ and DG are, starts. To be honest thats going to be a lot of effort, but to me it would be time much better spent doing that, than just scanning these modules and selling them for $5 each or even giving them away for free.


I guess I'm confused. You would be happier if someone just, say, updated POTVQ to D20 than if the original was published?  I can't say I disagree with your statement on the quality...POTVQ is the classic Monster Hotel that has been ridiculed and panned for many a generation of RPG gaming.  

 Badmike wrote:
 I may be an abberation, but I typically purchase/aquire pdfs of products I already have, and if I come across a pdf of something I don't have, if it's well written it causes me to seek out the original print verson.  I think the release of Wee Warriors items on pdf could cause the price to rise even higher because of this effect.


I disagee based on my above notes about the originals being sh*t adventures as well as other factors.

 Badmike wrote:
 People are also forgetting that the issue of producing a pdf of POTVQ and worrying if someone is going to print out fakes is a moot point.  There are AlREADY lots of these originals out there, and if anyone wants to print out a fake copy, it would take very little time or expense (the folder would be the toughest part but actually a good print shop could have these made up with no problem).


I am not sure making it all easier if there isn't already large scale proliferation of these items is the way to go, I mean people commit crimes everyday. It doesn't mean that we as a society throw out the laws on the basis that, "Well people are going to break the laws anyway, why try?"  


This sounds like you are saying "Don't let the rares get into the hands of the "common" people, because we can't trust them".  It sounds rather elitist.  I don't think because Acaeum members are probably at the top 10 percent of this hobby we are more entitled or deserving of having access to the super rares.  Hell, anyone tht has ever owned a POTVQ could have (and may have) made a photocopy or pdf of the item....
  Actually, I think you are in the minority BC. I bet if you sought out a majority of opinion of those on the Acaeum, Dragonsfoot, Canonfire, Knights and Knaves, etc, there would be more than not who would enjoy taking a peek at a Wee Warriors item.  As a matter of fact, looking at it objectively, if the copyright for an item isn't current, or it is owned by an individual who either doesn't defend it or gives it away, I fail to see who doesn't benefit except that very small minority that may have a copy for investment purposes.
 BTW, no matter how much we discuss this until we are blue in the face, its GOING to happen someday.  It just is. It's inevitable, and you can lament that fact all you want, but someday, sometime, someplace, there will be ILLEGAL copies or pdfs distributed of almost everything we treasure, copyrighted or not. It'sa miracle it hasn't happened yet, to be honest.  People can bitch and bitch, but it's not going to change the fact that it would be better if these sorts of things happened in a way to promote the hobby rather than piss all over it.

Mike B.


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Post Posted: Mon Jun 25, 2007 5:52 pm 
 

Two things, short and sweet:

1) I fail to see how re-releasing adventures from 1976, let alone ones that are not even good ones at that that are not even supported by todays game would do one iota to prome the hobby.  Call me a fool if you must, by I CAN'T SEE IT, AT ALL.

2)  Again, I will reiterate I have absolutely ZERO financial stake in this and yet I see it 100% differently than you.  For someone who claims to have no stake in it yourself Mike you sure seem eager to get these things "out there" for everyone to see, especially for someone who doesn't own a copy themselves.    Its easy for you to tell Jeff(both of them) or Alan or David or Paul or Bill or any of the other 1st print PotVQ owners out there, sorry about your $1000 there, but it was in my own best interests that this seeing the light of day, because I don't own it and some others out there don't either because its a curiosity.  I guess when its not your $1000 or whatever it means a lot less.

Another thing, call me a cyninic and call me "elitist", but I am the ass hole that reports all the illegal pdfers on Ebay on a freaking daily basis, so please spare me the "not giving people the benefit of the doubt" crap.  I live in the same world as you do, and people would steal the gum out of your mouth if they thought they could some money for it.  Your own posts here even iterate that, but you have the "well people are going to do it anyway illegally or not, so why bother. We might as well do it ourselves and try to make some money out of it first!!".  Sorry, but I was raised to be honest and to fight for what you believe in, especially if its the right thing to do no matter the cost.  

Like I said in my above post, the debate here is moot if all the legally responsible parties agree to do it.


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Last edited by bclarkie on Mon Jun 25, 2007 6:15 pm, edited 3 times in total.
  


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Post Posted: Mon Jun 25, 2007 5:54 pm 
 

To my mind there are two possible and different concerns here:

First, the concern that this will make it more likely that we will see forgeries of items - items for which many collectors would at least consider paying large amounts of money.  One doesn't have to think to hard to come up with a shortlist of targets.  It is possible to put in place certain safeguards that would make this kind of forgery, while certainly not impossible (some may go on already), but less financially tempting.  Perhaps by altering the pdfs in some manner, or (more unlikely) by creating a register of 'genuine' items.  

Second, that releasing pdfs, even if such are recognisably / slightly different from original items, will devalue the existing market for collectibles.  It is true that they would have an effect, but it is likely (I think) to be mixed - on the one hand increasing interest (and possibly demand), on the other hand making rare stuff more accessible.

These are different concerns. Personally I am much more concerned about No. 1 (risk of fakes), rather than No. 2 (market changes)  

I think almost everyone would agree that making unknown or rare old D&D stuff more easily available is a good thing  :D .  As is developing new & expanded versions of beloved old adventures.   Looking at most posts here thus far -  people are very concerned about the risk of fakes.  And that is my main concern.


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Post Posted: Mon Jun 25, 2007 5:57 pm 
 

red_bus wrote:To my mind there are two possible and different concerns here:

First, the concern that this will make it more likely that we will see forgeries of items - items for which many collectors would at least consider paying large amounts of money.  One doesn't have to think to hard to come up with a shortlist of targets.  It is possible to put in place certain safeguards that would make this kind of forgery, while certainly not impossible (some may go on already), but less financially tempting.  Perhaps by altering the pdfs in some manner, or (more unlikely) by creating a register of 'genuine' items.  

Second, that releasing pdfs, even if such are recognisably / slightly different from original items, will devalue the existing market for collectibles.  It is true that they would have an effect, but it is likely (I think) to be mixed - on the one hand increasing interest (and possibly demand), on the other hand making rare stuff more accessible.

These are different concerns. Personally I am much more concerned about No. 1 (risk of fakes), rather than No. 2 (market changes)  

I think almost everyone would agree that making unknown or rare old D&D stuff more easily available is a good thing  :D .  As is developing new & expanded versions of beloved old adventures.   Looking at most posts here thus far -  people are very concerned about the risk of fakes.  And that is my main concern.


I agree with everything you just said R_B, 100%.  :)


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Post Posted: Mon Jun 25, 2007 5:59 pm 
 

To me, and I'm weird, but I'd buy both. I'd like a pre-reprint just because it has history, and the point of collecting (for me) is to own something that few others have... to be unique, and different, and not for value (though I won't deny some things I own have that...) but, the reprints would be even better because I could actually use them. I could get 10 of them and read them till they wore holes and not care because they'd be easily replaceable. They would have absolutely no collectible value to me...


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Post Posted: Mon Jun 25, 2007 6:17 pm 
 

Badmike wrote:
I think a lot of collectors who are not in the market to shell out half  grand for a game item would in interested in seeing the product.  It's a shame that  lot of the rich history of this hobby is hidden away in boxes, storage rooms, filing cabinets and safes.
 The pdf would be moot point.  The means has always existed for anyone owning an original POTVQ to sell counterfeit versions if the mood hit them.  The means and materials are not that hard to find. A pdf won't change that.

Mike .


I agree with Badmike's points.  The question is not if PDF files will exist.  The question is whether the PDF's will be legal or illegal.

I also agree that lots more items can and should be available as PDF's.  Not only will these add up to some unexpected late profits for the original publishers, they will share the history of the game with everyone.  

Eventually, illegal PDF's will be created for most classic publications...or legal PDF's will be illegally sold.  

As for the value of a PDF versus the original....no contest.  Owning a PDF is just a taste of the original.  It is not the original itself.  I still want the real thing.  It was PDF files that originally made me hungry to collect the real things.

As a gamer, PDF files are a big help.  I can use and abuse a copy without damaging my original.  Also, once a book is in electronic format, I can cut and paste it into my own format for better use.

What I wonder about illegal PDF files is.....if I already own a copy of the product, is it illegal for me to get a PDF copy from someone else?  For instance, if a friend makes me a PDF of his own book...but I also own the book...did both of us do something wrong?

Shady...welcome here.  You may have gotten off to a bad start, but that is not necessarily how things have to continue.  Your handle is funny, in a way, but it also needlessly perpetuates the old conflict.  Why not go to your profile and choose a new name.  No harm in it and possibly some good.

Your work on Palace of the Vampire Queen sounds intriguing.

Mark  8)


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Post Posted: Mon Jun 25, 2007 6:29 pm 
 

bclarkie wrote:Two things, short and sweet:

1) I fail to see how re-releasing adventures from 1976, let alone ones that are not even good ones at that that are not even supported by todays game would do one iota to prome the hobby.  Call me a fool if you must, by I CAN'T SEE IT, AT ALL.


There area segment of collectors/gamers out there than think gaming began at Gencon 1999 when 3rd edition was released.  It's always nice to show them the roots of the hobby go, way, way back, maybe before they were born.  There may not be a market for it. There may be a huge market for it.  There may be 10 gamers interested in downloading a free pdf of POTVQ.  There may be 1000.  I say let the marketplace decide.

2)  Again, I will reiterate I have absolutely ZERO financial stake in this and yet I see it 100% differently than you.  For someone who claims to have no stake in it yourself Mike you sure seem eager to get these things "out there" for everyone to see, especially for someone who doesn't own a copy themselves.    Its easy for you to tell Jeff(both of them) or Alan or David or Paul or Bill or any of the other 1st print PotVQ owners out there, sorry about your $1000 there, but it was in my own best interests that this seeing the light of day, because I don't own it and some others out there don't either because its a curiosity.  I guess when its not your $1000 or whatever it means a lot less
.

I can't say you're wrong ENTIRELY. If I was sitting on a box of, say, 30 NM copies of POTVQ, yeh I might be a bit apprehensive, especially if I was banking on selling them for $1000 apiece for my retirement fund.  However, like 95% of the gamers/collectors out there, I don't even have ONE copy of any Wee Warriors stuff, and I would be interested in owning a pdf for perusal purposes.  That's human nature; I'm interested in looking at the items, what can I say. If it can be done legally and professionally, that's beyond cool. Apologies to all ten owners of POTVQ in the world, but I don't see how my wanting an item I don't reasonably have a chance of purchasing unless I want to skip rent one month enters into the equation. I wasn't put on the earth, and neither were the thousands of gamers out there, to protect the investments of a handful of uber collectors who have paid what they thought the item was worth to them and presumably will still be happy with owning an original copy even after a LEGAL pdf is released someday. There has never, never, ever been a guarantee from anyone that certain super rares like ST1, Lost Tamoachan, or POTVQ wouldn't be republished.  Sure, the odds have always been against it.  But didn't this already happen once with the Orange B3? (released as a free download at the WOTC site?).  It's been up there for FREE for what, 10 years now?  And if an Orange B3 came up for Ebay bid tomorow, it would blow through the roof....But there is simply no guarantee that, say, next month WOTC might decide "What the hell, let's put ST1 up for free download on our site for it's 20th anniversary". Sure the odds are against it, but.....
     I'm sure the 83 people that own a copy of Action #1 wish it had never been reprinted...but the millions and millions of others who have enjoyed this comic through the years via reprints have been enriched. And man, why do they reprint that piece of junk?  I mean, the artwork is really primitive, the story is melodramatic and dumb, I can't see it at all...... :wink:

Another thing, call me a cyninic and call me "elitist", but I am the ass hole that reports all the illegal pdfers on Ebay on a freaking daily basis, so please spare me the "not giving people the benefit of the doubt" crap.  I live in the same world as you do, and people would steal the gum out of your mouth if they thought they could some money for it.  Your own posts here even iterate that, but you have the "well people are going to do it anyway illegally or not, so why bother. We might as well do it ourselves and try to make some money out of it first!!".  Sorry, but I was raised to be honets and to fight for what you believe in, especially if its the right thing to do no matter the cost.  

Like I said in my above post, the debate here is moot if all the legally responsible parties agree to do it.


I think everyone here appreciates the illegal pdfers you report..I've said so myself on occasion.  But if this is a LEGAL pdf there really is nothing to say. Everyone here knows there are illegal pdfs, photocopies, scans, etc of rare goodies flying around the internet.  However, if Cougar somehow got the rights to Starstone and sold LEGAL pdfs on his site for $25 a pop that somehow makes everything better?  It's shocking someone unscrupulous HASNT done that yet...but they have, remember the counterfeits you and I bought Brian?  Of an obscure gaming supplement or two?  So not only is it going to happen, it HAS happened, and will continue to happen. It's only sheer stupid dumb luck it hasn't happened yet with a POTVQ or Dwarven Glory, THAT WE KNOW OF.  Better to beat the crooks to the punch by releasing a LEGAL, perhaps free pdf of these rares than see illegal copies sold to unsuspecting newbie collectors.

Mike B.


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Post Posted: Mon Jun 25, 2007 6:33 pm 
 

Your weirdness is in good company here serleran  :lol:

Imagine for example, some original notes from Gygax's first draft of the Player's Handbook are unearthed.  They are quite different from the original published book.  I would be happy to bid on these - to have a piece of tabletop gaming history.  But I would also be happy to buy a cheap pdf or print copy of such - especially since I would likely be outbid on the original  :D   What we don't want to see is a situation where the pdf can be passed off as the original.

I don't want to stray too far on this thread from the original ideas and postings - but perhaps it might be prudent to start to collate some of the already existing information buried here (and elsewhere) on identifying old print and ink and paper, to forestall future counterfeiting.  

As an aside: how did I suddenly get to be such a worrier - I always used to be pretty happy-go-lucky  :flower:


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Last edited by red_bus on Mon Jun 25, 2007 6:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  


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Post Posted: Mon Jun 25, 2007 6:35 pm 
 

It seems like preventing fakes would be a relatively simple task, since (I assume) most people who are interested in these modules are primarily interested in the content.

Simply scan the old modules in and OCR them to text (or worst-case scenario, type them in by hand), then change the font and layout however you see fit. Hell, move entire sections/pieces of artwork around, if possible, as a further anti-counterfeiting measure.

It would be much more difficult to fake an old module from text that's in a different layout and a modern font than it would be from a PDF scan of the original. And if someone's that determined to do so, they'll probably just buy an authentic copy and run off duplicates from that anyway.


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Post Posted: Mon Jun 25, 2007 6:47 pm 
 

I agree with both points Red_Bus, and they are definitely a concern.

I don't want to create a PotVQ PDF that can assist in making a good fake. Currently the fakes would need to be made by people that have previous or currently own a copy and have copied it in some form and then allowed it to be used to create fakes.... and that number could be few or large, but I don't think there are many being passed off that are fakes, at least not 1st prints with the black folders.

Once the item is made into a PDF, there is no way to keep people from making copies for friends and everyone they know. Thus my desire to see the PDFs be free in the first place. I think some people might like an actual physical copy of a module as a reprint (obviously no where near like the original in material make up). To do it for profit is a wrong approach since I can't see these type (and I agree with BClarkie here) "useless" modules being of a whole lot of interest to anyone, other than just "knowing" what the original was all about.

I do think there is a market (though some what small) for 1e modules, especially those that could be "redone" in a sense to be more fleshed out or updated even to D20. That was not my original intention, until after I had spoke to a couple of people. So it's now something to consider, but I am not in it for the money aspect, just wanting to bring something "limited" to more players, thus a remake sounds like a cool idea.

And FormCritic: Thanks for the words of wisdom, I will consider. I have a predetermined set of events that would prompt my name change. Some have come to be, so it may occur sooner than I predicted.

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Post Posted: Mon Jun 25, 2007 7:11 pm 
 

Badmike wrote:  However, if Cougar somehow got the rights to Starstone and sold LEGAL pdfs on his site for $25 a pop that somehow makes everything better?  It's shocking someone unscrupulous HASNT done that yet...but they have, remember the counterfeits you and I bought Brian?  Of an obscure gaming supplement or two?  So not only is it going to happen, it HAS happened, and will continue to happen. It's only sheer stupid dumb luck it hasn't happened yet with a POTVQ or Dwarven Glory, THAT WE KNOW OF.  Better to beat the crooks to the punch by releasing a LEGAL, perhaps free pdf of these rares than see illegal copies sold to unsuspecting newbie collectors.

Mike B.


The thing is though, that Cougar used to run photocopy auctions all the time in private emails to people on his mailing list.  I haven't heard of anything recently about it, but up until about a year ago he was actively selling photocopies of lots of different items, so its not like he's even beyond that.  :roll:

Getting back on topic though, I need to reiterate, I am not diametrically opposed to PotVQ being released in some alternate format(whether via direct pdf scan with some security modifications or some other type of new product with more fleshing out), I'm really not.  I just firmly believe that the original product needs to be protected at all costs too help ensure that those originals out there do not get lost/mixed in with the proliferation of fakes.

Personally I'd rather never see a product for myself ever as long at it maintains the sanctity of the work.  I mean, as bad as everyone says that it is, I'd still love to see ST1 just for the sheer curisoity of it all, but I'd rather never see one in my life rather than give in and have someone email me a scan.  I know if I really wanted it, it would not be that hard to get and I could probably have one tonight to be honest, but I rather do without it than give in on principle alone.


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Post Posted: Mon Jun 25, 2007 8:13 pm 
 

If done legally, I wouldn't mind having PDF copies of the modules. I don't have the deep pockets that some around here have - mostly because my wife would have me tarred & feathered!!  8O

Same reason I have R1, R3, and R4 in pdf. Where did R2 go?

It's hard to say what effect it would have on the originals. Count me in as one who would be interested.


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Post Posted: Mon Jun 25, 2007 8:58 pm 
 

bclarkie wrote:Getting back on topic though, I need to reiterate, I am not diametrically opposed to PotVQ being released in some alternate format(whether via direct pdf scan with some security modifications or some other type of new product with more fleshing out), I'm really not.  I just firmly believe that the original product needs to be protected at all costs too help ensure that those originals out there do not get lost/mixed in with the proliferation of fakes.

Personally I'd rather never see a product for myself ever as long at it maintains the sanctity of the work.  I mean, as bad as everyone says that it is, I'd still love to see ST1 just for the sheer curisoity of it all, but I'd rather never see one in my life rather than give in and have someone email me a scan.  I know if I really wanted it, it would not be that hard to get and I could probably have one tonight to be honest, but I rather do without it than give in on principle alone.

Let's see...I signed up for a membership here in what...2004?  I've been a part of the site for three years now.  I've had a good time in the various discussions I've participated in.  All despite the fact that I don't own, and likely never will own original copies of Palace of the Vampire Queen, Starstone, ST1, Lost Tamochan, Lost Caverns of Tsojconth, and others.  In fact, of these various rarities, I've only seen one: the orange covered Palace of the Silver Princess.  The only reason I've seen the original Palace of the Silver Princess is because WotC/Hasbro released a PDF of it for free, I downloaded it, and printed it on my printer.

Now, did orange B3's suddenly become worthless because the PDF was released?  Am I suddenly an evil monster because I happen to own a legitimate copy of that B3 PDF that I couldn't realistically afford?  Now, that last question is a rhetorical one, and there's no need to answer it, but the same questions can be asked of any legal PDF that is available out in Internet land.  I do seem to recall a devaluation in the collecting value of that particular item, however, that particular module is still rather highly prized despite the devaluation.

I understand what you're saying in this case of PotV and the majority of the other "keys".  Because it was typed out on either a manual typewriter or an IBM Selectric, it's easily copied and easily distributed, and as a result, counterfeits can be easily confused with genuine copies.  Despite that legitimate concern, I still would be interested in free and legal PDFs of Palace of the Vampire Queen, Starstone, ST1, Lost Tamochan, Lost Caverns of Tsojconth, and others.  To me at least, the historical value of the documents in question is still as great as if I had owned genuine printed copies.

Case in point, a genealogy website in England offered for one week unlimited access to image copies of the HMS Titanic passenger manifest.  With effort, the manifest could be copied and easily confused with genuine copies.  However, while a legitimate concern, the genealogy website offered copies of the pages anyway, because I believe that to them, the historical value of the document remained regardless of whether it was an original or a copy.

The same thing, but on a much smaller scale, applies to the various "keys" of RPG history.  Their historical value will always be there, even if the collecting value dies out.  From what I see though, this isn't so much about protecting the original documents as it is about maintaining the collecting value of said original documents.  A concern that from what I recall, is unfounded, if the WotC/Hasbro release of the original B3 is any indicator.



  

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Post Posted: Mon Jun 25, 2007 9:09 pm 
 

Most of the items I am currently attempting to collect are rulebooks and modules that I have a sentimental attachment to.

As it turns out, due to my age (42), my early days of D&D play happen to coincide with the publication/printing dates of many of these rare items.

My long-term collecting goals are not tied to an investment philosophy at all; once I collect the items that have sentimental value, I would very much like to expand my collection to encompass a large sampling of D&D history.

To that end, I would like the chance to read a PDF version of Fazzlewood or PoTVP to see whether they'd be worth collecting down the road.

If I were to read one of these obscure works and absolutely hate it, then I would could simply mark it off my personal wish list.

The Holmes Basic set is an example of the kind of item that I'm talking about.  Even though it is without question an integral part of D&D history, I would not deliberately go out and buy it because I simply don't like it.  (I realize it's not in the same league as ST1 ... it's just an illustration of my point.)

By all means, the sanctity of the originals needs to be maintained.  I think the means for doing that have already been discussed.

But I would very much enjoy reading PDF versions of obscure works to decide whether I'd like the real thing to my collection.

Keith


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